Malaysia’s Minister of Finance and Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Governor, H.E. Tengku Datuk Seri Utama Zafrul bin Tengku Abdul Aziz, and IsDB President, Dr. Bandar Hajjar, have formally signed a Memorandum Of Understanding and Supplementary Agreement between the Government of Malaysia and IsDB on the transformation of the IsDB Regional Hub of Kuala Lumpur into a Center of Excellence (CoE) mandated to promote cooperation on Islamic finance, Halal initiatives, Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) eco-systems, reverse linkages for capacity sharing and resource mobilization.
In his Keynote statement on this occasion, the Minister praised the excellent relationship between Malaysia and the Islamic Development Bank which has been established since March 1975, and since then both parties have enjoyed a mutually beneficial partnership, wherein Malaysia leverages IsDB’s network, to promote the skills and expertise of the country for the benefit of other Member Countries of IsDB. The cooperation is further strengthened through the establishment of the IsDB Regional Hub in Kuala Lumpur in 1994 and, today, through the signing of the MoU transforming the Hub into a Center of Excellence.
Dr. Hajjar, meanwhile, expressed gratitude to the Government of Malaysia as well as to the Malaysian public and private stakeholders, for their commitment and willingness to share their knowledge and expertise with other IsDB Member Countries, and reiterated the commitment of the IsDB Group to strengthen the already excellent relationship with the Government of Malaysia, particularly through transforming the IsDB Regional Hub in Kuala Lumpur into a Center of Excellence, which serves as a gateway between Malaysia and other IsDB Member Countries facilitating exchange of comprehensive development solutions including know-how, technology, tools, and investment in five areas of high economic impact namely, STI, Islamic Finance, Halal Industry, Reverse Linkage for Capacity sharing, and Resource Mobilization on the basis of win-win approaches.
He also appreciated IsDB President’s Senior Advisor for Science, Technology, and Innovation, and Supervisor for Communities Outreach Division, Dr. Hayat Sindi as well as Br. Mohamed Abida, Acting Head of the IsDB Center of Excellence in Kuala Lumpur for their dedication and relentless efforts in planning and implementation of the event and organizing a webinar which followed the signing ceremony streamlining a digital platform called E-gateway that brings together all the stakeholders comprising solution providers, solution seekers, investors and investees in one community, using the power and the benefits of IsDB ENGAGE platform.
Dr. Hayat Sindi, in her introductory remarks, stated that Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) is a key pillar and a main focus area for the CoE and IsDB is committed to supporting and empowering the CoE to become a reference STI center. She also explained how the IsDB STI Department has worked with the CoE in developing the E-gateway which serves as the connecting portal between Malaysia and other IsDB Member Countries facilitating exchange of comprehensive development solutions including know-how, technology, and investments.